Western Canadians sick of seeing money flow east even while the people getting the money object to the very industry that makes it, have something to feel good about today. One federal politician, Maxime Bernier, is promising fairness if he becomes Conservative leader and then prime minister.
For decades now, there has been one pipeline that people in Eastern Canada, especially Quebec and every Atlantic province other than Newfoundland, have never objected to and that is the one that carries the money.
Maxime Bernier is calling this program what it is - unfair to the west and a welfare trap to the east.
Watch as I look at some facts that show why he’s right and which also explain why some of those provinces who benefit the most, don’t want to see the taps turned off.
Bernier is short on specifics but says he would adjust the formula to be fairer and make it so provinces are incentivized to develop what they have rather than rely on handouts from the feds and other provinces.
This has been a big issue, simmering below the surface for an awful lot of Western Canadians.
We’ve been on this for a while with our CutThemOff.ca campaign. Remember the billboards outside Montreal City Hall asking why Mayor Coderre was happy to let billions of litres of raw waste spill into the St. Lawrence River but protested the Energy East Pipeline claiming a fear of pollution?
One of our proposed billboards even questioned why Coderre was against Energy East but for Saudi oil, from a Sharia country.
And when we polled on this about a year ago, we found that 69% of Saskatchewan residents and 80% of Albertans agreed with cutting off Quebec from equalization if they opposed oil pipelines.
Bernier may not go that far but finally someone is talking about this constant flow of money going west to east even as politicians from the east do what they can to shut down or hamper the industries producing the cash.
The fact that Bernier is a Quebecer standing up for Western Canada is more impressive. He could lose support in his home province for standing up for what is right.
Who knows if he’ll win, but at least he’s got the conversation going.